A Review of the Marozzo Workshop recently held in the Port of Crickstow-on-Sea
It was a genuine pleasure to be in the recent swordsmanship workshop under the tutelage of Randolph Dána which held Saturday March 15, 2003 at Crickstow-on-Sea1.
It was clear right from the start of the afternoon that the instructor had a deep passion for the material. This passion was well communicated to the students who threw themselves into the material with enthusiasm.
Jumping right into the deep end the class was immersed in Italian fencing terms to describe the various guards and positions. Oh mama mia were there a lot of Italian terms! For a few moments the CFB Esquimalt Drill shed sounded like a language class.
From the basic stances the students were led through the Progressions of Marozzo. For anyone familiar with the kata of Eastern martial arts the Progressions are a period European equivalent, although far shorter perhaps than most Eastern forms.
The Progressions were well taught. This series of movements (still in a foreign language) were quickly learned by all students. What is more impressive is that with the aid of printed materials (distributed later via the web) yours truly might actually be able to repeat the sequence with some confidence. This is entirely a testament to very effective teaching technique on the part of the instructor I hasten to add, not anything to do with my abilities.
The instructor stated that this was a class still in development and certainly there were areas where the class could be improved or expanded. It would have been nice for example to have the handouts at hand but that would have required formal pre-registration.
As someone interested in applying the material to heavy fighting2 it was also disappointing not to be covering the material on sword and dagger (which had been advertised) and sword and target (which had not). The reality of the time available however would not allow exploration of this material and it was a workshop for rapier fighters so I was really only there on sufferance of the instructor.
I would strongly suggest that the single afternoon be turned into a full two-day weekend. Not only could more material be covered but it would also allow for more exploration of the history of the material and the context in which it was produced. For example, there was some discussion of the changing fashion in swords which affected Marozzo's techniques but not enough to get a complete picture.
Overall I would highly recommend this Workshop and instructor to anyone who has an interest in Western martial arts and late period swords and swordsmanship in particular.
March 19, 2003
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Copyright G.Edward Godwin . Permission granted to reproduce without alteration for research purposes.
Duncan's Cavalier Webpages: http://victoria.tc.ca/~tgodwin/duncanweb